Photo by Officer Cadet Nicky Sapera: Women’s Sabre celebrates GOLD with their coach. L-R, Captain Natalie Jones, Maître Patricia Howes, Sub-Lieutenant Chantel Helwer and Captain Marilyne Lafortune.
Gold in Texas Warms Up CISM Fencers for Venezuela
By: Patricia Howes
The last weekend in March saw ten members of the CISM Fencing program travel to Dallas, Texas to compete in a North American Cup (NAC) Division II & III fencing competition. These events are great for Canadian fencers to participate in as they draw at least 1,000 fencers from across the USA, Puerto Rico, Mexico and a few from Europe. The venues are massive convention centres that hold over 35 fencing strips and row after row of fencing equipment vendors. The whole atmosphere is exciting, energetic and challenging; the perfect environment for international preparation.
Striking Gold in Texas
The women’s sabre team for this event included RMC Varsity Fencing alumni Captain Marilyne Lafortune (CFB Trenton) Captain Natalie Jones (CFB Trenton) and SLt Chantel Helwer (CFB Kingston). Having competed earlier in the weekend in the individual sabre event, and not achieving their desired results, the women pooled their knowledge and experience to dominate the field in team competition. Ranked 2nd overall after the individual competition, the women’s team faced up in Direct Elimination against #3 ranked University of Florida B Team and won a close match at 45-42. That win advanced the women into the gold medal match against the A Team from University of Florida. The exciting match was led most of the way by Canada but the Americans pushed hard, keeping the score tight. The final round of the match saw team anchor Capt. Jones fight with cool, calm, focused attacks to claim the gold medal with a final score of 45-31. The Americans were shocked by their losses to the Canadians but a round of handshakes and salutes acknowledged the success of both capable teams. Well done ladies!
Other top results from the weekend came from RMC fencers IV OCdt Emma McDaniel IV OCdt Nicholas Goulet III OCdt Nicky Sapera and IV OCdt Michelle Guertin. In their debut on the NAC circuit the RMC fencers went into the event with two goals: focus on problem solving each combat hit by hit, bout by bout, and fence as many new people as possible throughout the day. Since the CISM format for World Championships in Venezuela is round robin with approximately 26 countries, the fencers must prepare for a marathon of bouts against top ranked fencers from around the world; therefore using the NAC as preparation was an ideal opportunity to climb the ranks of athletes to go as far as possible. OCdt McDaniel did just that, and kept her focus throughout the long day of competition, until she reached the bronze medal match. After a gruelling day of bouting (0730hrs to 1730hrs) OCdt McDaniel successfully won the bronze placing 3rd out of 106 fencers. The next day OCdt Nick Goulet did the same thing, making it to the top 8, and garnering a 7th place medal. OCdt Sapera and OCdt Guertin fought excellent first round pools in their NAC debuts and challenged in the Direct Eliminations finishing a respectable 41st and 38th in their respective events.
The group of Canadian military fencers also made an impression on the Americans at the event. Over the course of the four-day competition they gained not only experience and results, but also warm appreciation from the Americans, for their service to our country. Many people over the course of the weekend, upon finding out that this was a military team, shook the hands of the fencers and coach, to acknowledge their roles as military members. By the end of the tournament the Canadian fencers had many supporters, including other fencers, parents, coaches and refs, who came to cheer for Team Canada in their final matches of the day. It was pleasantly surprising and satisfying for the athletes to receive such praise and acknowledgement for their military service and a testament to the concept of friendship through sport –the CISM motto.
The RMC Connection
The CISM team members are now in their final preparations for departure to La Guaira Venezuela where the 42nd World Military Fencing Championships (WMC) will take place. The event is scheduled for April 23-28, 2010 and the CISM team will gather from around the country to compete as Team Canada for its third WMC. Along with RMC alumni Lafortune, Jones and Helwer (nee Lemay) other “ex-cadets” on the team include 240522Lt Sarah Rogers and24446 2Lt Jackie Power. Top RMC graduating fencers will round out the team, including: IV Nick Goulet, IV Michelle Guertin, IV Emma McDaniel, IV Liam Roach,and IV Michael Dubois-Boudazza. The youngest member of the team will be II Andrew Sheahan, who, while the youngest, has several years of successful fencing through Cutting Edge prior to joining RMC, including international competitions in France and the USA. Staff for the team will be led by former RMC fencer 15566 Major Helga Grodzinski in the roles of Chief of Mission and Team Manager and RMC Fencing Coaches A134 Patricia Howes and David Howes.
Collective Effort and a Common Goal
CISM fencers and staff are highly dedicated, disciplined and driven people. They self-fund their training, equipment, and competition costs personally, while hanging onto the hope that everything will work out and they will represent Canada on the world stage. They spend endless hours doing personal fitness, individual lessons, and bouting to prepare for opportunities like the World Championships. For this reason, it is quite remarkable when it all comes together and a team is selected. While it is tough to put together all CISM teams due to deployments, courses, unit demands, leave issues etc…..CISM Fencing is fortunate to receive support. This year’s roster for WMC will also include the following top athletes in Venezuela: former OUA Champions from University of Toronto Major Thomas Nguyen (Deputy Commanding Officer 25 Field Ambulance Toronto) and 2Lt David Kim (7 Field Regiment Toronto, currently on exchange in the United Kingdom) former Canadian National Team member Cpl Jean Lelion (Montréal) and top Canadian National Team member Cpl Hugues Boisvert-Simard (Royal 22e Régiment Valcartier). Cpl Boisvert-Simard is this year’s CF Male Athlete of the Year and is currently ranked 11th in the World on the FIE World Cup circuit.
The CISM Fencing Program would like to thank all the CF bases/units and especially RMC for their support in approving participation of these athletes at the World Championships. Look for results and pictures in the May edition of e-Veritas.
Caption: OCdt Anthony Von (25375), OCdt Marc Perron (Aloy) and OCdt Laurent Sauvageau (25363) receiving their respective awards.
JUDO TEAM HEAD WEST ON THE 401
By: 25486 Darren Ashton
On the 11th of April the RMC Judo club went to Ajax Ontario for a tournament against several other clubs in the Greater Toronto Region. Arriving at 0930 the team was weighed in and was on the mates warming up. Each member was able to compete twice for placement in their overall weight and age divisions.
The results of the tournament left not a single one of the Judo team members out of a position in the top three for their class, a testament to the training program of Sensei Bray, herself a Black Belt and RMC Cadet. OCdt Bray also refereed at the event for the lower age and weight classes.
The complete team consisted of OCdt Y. Volodarets of 10 Squadron, OCdt A. Von and P. Geoffrion-Lockhead from 7 Squadron and Pvt Jeff Ferguson from the MP Reserves competing in their class. In this class Ferguson placed first overall, with Lockhead in second and Von and Volodarets tying for third place. In the next weight class OCdt L. Sauvageau placed first and OCdt M. Perron placed third. It was hard fought competition all around.
The Judo Club has now taken a break for the summer but will return next year to train its new yellow belts and is happy to take any new members regardless of experience.
TKD competitor & coach off to Spain this summer
Officer Cadet Felix Kesserwan, RMC Varsity Taekwondo team captain and recent recipient of the Tommy Smart Trophy as the 2009-2010 season male athlete of the year, has been chosen to represent Canada at the upcoming World University Taekwondo Championships.
This tournament hosts elite cailbre collegiate athletes from around the world and is taking place in Vigo, Spain from 25 June to 05 July. OCdt Kesserwan will be joined by RMC Head Coach Joel Ridley who also has been chosen to coach the Canadian team in Spain. the competition website
OCdt Melissa McCoy – OUA Woman of Influence
Ontario University Athletics (OUA) will recognize the top female scholar-athletes from across the province at the seventh annual Women of Influence Luncheon on Fri., April 30, 2010 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (North Building), 255 Front Street West in Toronto, Ont.
The event honours female student-athletes who have excelled in their chosen sports and fields of study. OUA will profile its top female scholar athletes on a daily basis on OUA.ca leading up to the luncheon. OCdt Melissa McCoy, from Kingston, Ont., enrolled at the Royal Military College of Canada in 2008.
Melissa continues to develop in all four pillars at RMC which include military leadership, academics, athletics and bilingualism. Prior to arriving at RMC, Melissa focused on athletics, specifically volleyball. She was selected to attend the High Performance Training Centre in Ontario four consecutive years (2005-2008) and was also a member of the Ontario Summer Games team in 2005.
During her rookie season in 2008-09, Melissa led her team in offensive points, averaging 2.69 points per game. A member of the Canadian Forces, Melissa has chosen a career as a logistics officer in the Air Force.
Q: What is your proudest academic achievement? A: Graduating high school as an Ontario Scholar.
Q: What is your proudest athletic achievement? A: Receiving an invite to the Youth National Team training camp in 2005.
Q: What is your most memorable community-related moment? A: Myself and two of my friends were honoured as the Junior Citizens of the Year in 2005.
Q: What are your future plans? A: After graduating from RMC I hope to continue to medical school, where I hope to become a surgeon.
Q: What woman has most influenced you? A: The woman who has influenced me the most has been my mother. She has been with me through the good times and the bad. I can always go to her for advice when I need it, or to be a friend when I’m feeling down. I would not be the person that I am today without her!
Q: If you could sit down to dinner with any woman, who would it be? A: Jane Austin. She was an amazing author and a very strong woman.
Many impressive results on the Physical Performance Tests
By: Stephane Robert, Curriculum Development Coordinator – RMC-C Athletic Department
Several months ago, an issue of e-Veritas described a strength and conditioning program that was specifically designed to help OCdts achieve a perfect score of 500 on their PPT. This program was an eight week long process that involved a significantly high volume of training and required a high level of dedication. Many OCdts began the program but due to the high level of involvement needed, were unable to fully complete it.
Two weeks ago, the third and final PPT of the year was run and the results were tabulated. Although there were no individuals that achieved a perfect score, a total of 48 OCdts achieved over 450 (4 of which achieved above 490). This large number of high achievers is up from 16 during the second PPT (January 2010). 213 individuals achieved a score of over 400, which is up from 138 during PPT #2, and many others achieved significant increases in their results from previous PPTs.
Although these results are extremely impressive, all credit cannot be given to the 500PPT Strength and Conditioning Program. What principally accounts for this drastic increase in results is partially due to training strategies, but mostly due to a shift in the mindset of the OCdts. Many did not have a training goal and once challenged to achieve a high score on their PPT, worked hard and kept focused with the results paying off. Although many of the individuals with over 450 and/or with drastic improvement from previous years followed the 500PPT program, some of the highest scores were achieved by individuals that followed their own training programs or were personally coached.
Overall the results have given many individuals great hope for the now very likely achievement of a perfect score on the RMC PPT. We can be sure that next year will have results that far surpass this past PPT and is leading to an ever increasing physical fitness level of RMC OCdts which is noticed by many.
Some, of the many notable achievements include:
OCdt Matthew Stokes (24768) (inserted photo – blue shirt) 496 points
OCdt Eric Robb (24992) 494 points
OCdt Keil Monette-Saillant (25154) 491 points
OCdt Carolyn Pumphrey (25121) 491 points
OCdt Flavio Stasi (25731) 464 points (highest first year score)
OCdt Kim (25412) 432 points (up from 318 for PPT #2)